ELOY — It’s been over 10 years since the city of Eloy completed a comprehensive salary study, and a market adjustment to the salary schedule has not been implemented since then.
On Monday night, the council voted 6-1 to implement a 2% merit increase for eligible employees at their anniversary date. And then, if financial conditions allow, a 2% market adjustment will be implemented in January.
The purpose of adjustments is to increase wages due to cost-of-living increases and to maintain the city’s competitiveness with the surrounding area.
Councilman Daniel Snyder was the only one to oppose the decision.
“It all has to do with timing,” Snyder said. “A merit increase is on their anniversary date, which means some people won’t see something until after the first of the year. It wasn’t about the amount or anything like that; it was about the implementation.”
Snyder would have liked for all employees to receive a raise immediately and possibly additional compensation on their anniversary date.
He added that the increase in January is not a given, and if the city is not in good financial shape and cannot afford the 2% increase, an employee whose anniversary date has not passed yet will not see a salary raise until after January.
The council also approved Dibble Engineering for the design and bid phase of the Taxiway A relocation and floodplain improvements at Eloy Municipal Airport.
The project will include construction of a new drainage channel and culvert as well as new chain-link fencing to secure the airfield along the eastern side of the property.
The new channel will address the drainage issues in the northern portion of the airport and will meet FAA runway-to-taxiway separation standards by relocating the existing Taxiway A to approximately 300 feet from the runway.
Vice Mayor Micah Powell voiced his confusion about seeing the item on the meeting agenda after he and other council members had asked to have a study session regarding the plans for the taxiway.
“I was under the impression that we were going to have a work session with the Airport Advisory Board and the council to find out how everybody felt about the design or even the project,” Powell said. “I’m concerned about why we continue to move forward with this when we haven’t sat down and had a meeting about this.”
City Manager Harvey Krauss told the council that because there is no actual design yet, there is nothing to show the council until a consultant is hired.
“There’s really nothing to talk about at this point except to move forward with the contract to get the ball rolling,” Krauss said. “I’m not sure what we can discuss at this point, we have the federal funds lined up, but until we get moving with the design, I can’t really discuss anything at this point in time.”
Powell also said he had heard some comments about people not being on board with the plans the city has for the airport.
Krauss reminded council members that back in May they approved a settlement agreement to acquire 11.5 acres at the airport from Skydive Arizona President Larry Hill and his wife.
“Part of that settlement agreement was that although he didn’t approve of the project, he accepted it and was willing to move forward with it without any objection,” Krauss said. “There’s some things that he wanted in regards to providing additional tie-downs and so that’s part of the design process.”
Other agenda items discussed during the council meeting included the approval of hiring Rick Engineering to design road improvements to Battaglia Road from Sunshine Boulevard to La Palma road, and setting the primary property tax levy at $1.09 per $100 of primary property assessed valuation.
The property tax levy is expected to generate an additional $17,045 due to new construction and is less than last fiscal year, which was $1.12.